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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Social Six
The Keepers of the Flame

Subtypes are important because they often enable you to recognize yourself more easily, but even more so because they are a real source of "juice." If you know your subtype, you'll soon see that when your subtype (often called instinctual by some of the major authors) is threatened in some way, you get a lot of energy.

Your subtype changes the preoccupations but not the major mechanisms of the type. The Six will react with fear and practice hyper vigilance in a fearful world, no matter what the subtype. But what frightens them and how they react to the fear will be subtly different.

Let's look at the social subtype of Six. Each subtype has been given a key word by the tradition. The word for the social subtype of Six is "duty."

Social subtypes in general have a preoccupation about where they stand in the group. They want to know who belongs: who is in, who is out, who's on top, and in the case of the Six, what are the rules of the group.

Social Sixes sees the authority in the group as critical. They may easily play devil's advocate, but they will never ignore authority. The group may be family, church, school or tradition. An Enneagram teacher who is a Six will learn what the teaching of the tradition is and will want to make sure you get the authentic tradition and not just their private interpretation. A Six researcher will find out what all the authorities say before making a judgment. They may attack those positions, but they will never ignore them. When a social Six breaks rules (and they certainly might), they never break them accidentally. They know the rules. They do it on purpose.

This attitude toward group and authority can make them quite traditional. These folk are the keepers of the flame. They're the ones that show the home movies of when their children were babies - often. They never forget anniversaries, they know just how Thanksgiving dinner ought to be done and they insist on using their mother's favorite recipe.

In the workplace, these are the company men who work 35 years for the same company and wear the jacket with the company logo on it after they retire. They may not like their job, but they'd sooner stay and complain than leave. It just isn't right to leave the group. Nor is it safe. They can over identify with the group and even shun or persecute others who do not share their group's ideals. Sometimes you'll find religious fundamentalists with this subtype. They love to quote "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life," and then say that everyone else is going to hell. (I love to quote the opposite text to them, ""Who is not against us is with us. Mark 9:40) social Sixes can be overly conscious of boundaries in order to make sure they belong. It's a small step from making sure "I belong" to being sure that "I don't belong."

They can tend to exaggerate their dependence on the group. This makes them great team players because they can put the group's needs ahead of their private good. I once did a survey of Nuns and found that 40% of them were Sixes. My group sample was small, about 400, but it does seem to fit. Community life is probably more attractive to social Sixes than many other styles.

The downside of group loyalty is that communities don't appreciate the contribution of the social Six unless the authorities give concrete form to that appreciation. The workforce is filled with complaints about how the company or community doesn't appreciate what they have done for 20 years.

Social Sixes love to work in a group but usually prefer not to be the leader. The belief from childhood is that all attention is bad attention so they prefer to be down the ladder of authority a ways. Number two is fine, three is just as good, as long as they are important to the group and supported by the authority. Sixes know that it is the tall strands of grass in the lawn that get mowed down.

Sixes can work forever if they believe in the cause. The cause hooks their idealism, they feel united to the group in some way or other and the cause usually has a lot of rules. For example, if a Six is an environmentalist, they can do a million earth-friendly things and feel part of the group with every recycled can.

Because Sixes are simultaneously idealistic and skeptical, they often idealize an authority or a cause and then set themselves up for disillusionment. One has to have illusions before one can be disillusioned. Social Sixes have them. But they also have an attention style that looks for danger, conspiracy, inconsistency and patterns behind the data. So if the authority is doing anything wrong on any level, the Six will certainly catch them at it. That can cause disillusion.

*From Enneagram Central-Thanks to Mike Angell :wink:
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Self-Preservation Six
Best Defense is no offense

When I taught high school, I noticed that if a boy didn't know how to answer a question, he would look irritated or glum. Girls, however, would usually smile and frequently giggle. In the beginning I was irritated: there was nothing funny about my question. But I learned something that helped me understand self-preservation Sixes. When some people are afraid, they smile. When I was much younger I would walk through the park and inwardly rejoiced at how many women would smile at me. When I studied self-preservation Sixes, I learned once more that when people are afraid, sometimes they smile. The women in the park were not flirting, they were defending.

Self-preservation Sixes do this as a lifestyle. They use smiling and warmth to make friends with what they perceive as perceive as a hostile environment. Tom Condon is a movie buff and told me that Julie Roberts, a six, goes around to all the camera operators and set helpers and makes friends with them. Then she can relax and get to work.

Because they see other people as a threat to them, they make sure they do not appear to be a threat to you. They may be excessively modest and shrink from any comparisons (unless they have a strong connection to Three). If they are working for a boss, they will work hard but make sure the boss knows they don't want his job.

The belief that the world is a dangerous place shows up also in their homes. They are often homebodies, creating a sanctuary to which they flee. I know one Six who lives in a small safe rural town. He locks and deadbolts his doors. What he doesn't find incongruous is that his doors are largely glass! The locks are largely symbolic, and that is usually a tip-off that an Enneagram style is in play.

Self-preservation Sixes specialize in lurid inner scenarios, a kind of horror film they direct that always ends up with the worst that can happen as the most likely to happen.

Self-preservation Sixes combine both a strongly negative world-view with a warm and positive personality. No wonder they are perceived as contradictory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Intimate Six
Anticipatory defense

The phrase usually associated with the intimate subtype of Six is "strength and beauty."

Within this subtype there is a tendency to develop strength, either inner or outer. Sixes are often quite disciplined anyway - it is a type of defense at times. So within this subtype you often find body builders and martial artists. The discipline it takes to become a martial artist is fueled by the belief that if I become strong enough, I won't have to worry about someone or something attacking me. In fact, at the pinnacle of martial arts is the learning how not to have to fight. The motivation is self-defense, not aggression or competition, as it would be within an Eight or Three Enneagram style.

The inner strength can be created by physical discipline, but especially if the Six has a strong Five wing, they may acquire knowledge as a way becoming strong. However, because fear resides in the mind and strength is more often a physical feeling, the usual way is to develop physical strength.

Many Counterphobic Sixes actively seek physical challenges in order to experience conquest. I watched a mountain climber being interviewed. He gave the usual answer to why he did it - because it was there - but his real reason was that he was afraid. When asked how he dealt with the fears involved with dealing with the dangers, he gave a classical Six answer. "You have to constantly be aware of your environment." This is how Sixes deal with fear. They constantly scan the environment for possible danger.

The feminine counterpart of this is beauty. The understanding is that if I am beautiful enough, I will not be attacked. Beauty does not get destroyed nearly as quickly as ugliness and beauty is valued. For many women, too, beauty is extremely valuable in gaining protection from powerful men.

But artistic endeavor is another route to beauty. intimate Sixes will often see arts and crafts as a way of shutting down the committee in their heads. Further, art is way of non-verbally reaching beyond what they can think. There is a sense of having reached the end of what they can figure out, they reach into painting or drawing or music to reach a level of integration they can't quite accomplish just by the compulsive think they are so often plagued with. They will often report long periods of peace - in their case freedom from fear - when they are engrossed in artistic endeavor.
 

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I am 6w5, agree with everything especially idealistic and skeptical. The stereotype of a female sx dom type 6 is annoying however.
 

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I feel like the So-first one is supposed to be vaguely unappealing to other people yet rather appealing and relatable for me, which it definitely succeeds in.

Well, other than the "tradition" thing. C'mon, variety is the spice of life!
 

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This particular one was lame.

The subtype explanations from other authors are much better.


Yes, for anyone smiling can be from fear, but that doesn't mean that every smile from a female is them being scared of you. LOL @ ridiculous extrapolation there.

Scanning the environment is also a high Se user thing... in fact a lot of this authors view was influenced by function interplay.
 

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Yes, for anyone smiling can be from fear, but that doesn't mean that every smile from a female is them being scared of you. LOL @ ridiculous extrapolation there.
I don't find that ridiculous. It's talking about smiling in the context of type 6, which is a fear type, so it's motivated by fear. I don't think that means they can't ever do something for other reasons. At least I don't take it to literally mean that every smile is out of fear, but more that sp 6 tend to use a harmless image to mitigate threats.

Of course, even that might not be true for every sp 6, but that's the case for subtype descriptions in general. You're gonna end up with generalizations that don't fit every person.
 

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This particular one was lame.

The subtype explanations from other authors are much better.


Yes, for anyone smiling can be from fear, but that doesn't mean that every smile from a female is them being scared of you. LOL @ ridiculous extrapolation there.

Scanning the environment is also a high Se user thing... in fact a lot of this authors view was influenced by function interplay.
How is it biased and ridiculous? 6s do scan their environments and try to aware of it. It can mean in a multitude of ways.
 

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How is it biased and ridiculous? 6s do scan their environments and try to aware of it. It can mean in a multitude of ways.
Not Sp-first, but the Sp 6 description is a bit over the top and almost sounds more like a 5w6 description than a type 6 one, what with seeing the outside world as a threat and retreating as a response to it. Even 6w5s are more... proactive? This part of the Sp description is more appropriate than the "hostile world" bits:

Tom Condon is a movie buff and told me that Julie Roberts, a six, goes around to all the camera operators and set helpers and makes friends with them. Then she can relax and get to work.
I'm a lot less worried about "everyone is OUT TO GET ME" as a threat than I am "If I don't get along with the camera operators well, we'll screw up the shoot or they won't recognize me or-". I guess that's a way of seeing danger in the world, but I never consciously think of it that way and wouldn't identify with the idea. Sp to me is the housekeeping instinct; "Do I have everything I need in order? Am I taking care of myself properly?". The DANGER sheen is unnecessarily alienating.
 

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I have mixed feelings on this subtype description (how 6ish!). In the spoiler below I've outlined what I do and do not relate to, in terms of accurate, "eh", and inaccurate for both Social and Sexual.

 

SOCIAL --

Accurate:
+ Preoccupation with group standing/belonging
+ Never ignore authority
+ Overly conscious of boundaries
+ Can feel unappreciated in group without concrete thanks
+ Can work unceasingly if believe in cause
+ Catch authority doing wrongs (catch myself too, no one's perfect)
+ Typically prefer not to lead (enjoy being in leadership, but not sole leader)
+ Work a long time for same company (on/off through school)

Eh:
= Traditional (I like/encourage some traditions, not all)
= Want to know "rules" of group (the word "rules" makes me feel ugh)
= Shunning outsiders (if they're being disrespectful - I'll shun insiders for that too)
= Exaggerate dependence on group, community life attractive
= Love group work (yes for routine/fun; no if being graded/judged)
= Idealize authority/cause (infrequent)

Inaccurate:
- Home movies/never forget anniversaries (I forget my own)
- "It's just not right to leave the group"
- Quoting religious junk at people
- All attention is bad attention (I love praise!)

SEXUAL --

Accurate:
+ Seek physical challenges to experience conquest
+ Aquire knowledge to become strong

Eh:
= Tendency to develop strength
= Beauty is valuable in gaining protection
= Art to shut down committee in head

Inaccurate:
- Quite disciplined (LOL)


In short, I'm fascinated by human interactions and groups do provide me lots of fodder for that fascination. I attach strongly but am anxious, and act accordingly in group situations, being loyal to those I feel I can trust but still keeping most people - even when I'm fond of them - at arm's length. I don't do strict rules or hating outsiders - nor, honestly, do I see that much out of other soc/sx 6s. (IMO xenophobia doesn't make much sense in a soc/sx light.) I do build up myself for protection, physically, mentally, and aesthetically, and I enjoy challenging myself in those realms - but I'm not very disciplined, so I never get that far!

On the other hand, I find this description posted by Grey in the stickies pretty much entirely accurate:

Social/Sexual

This type can be very different from the other social type, because with this type, security comes from making alliances with individuals. Their weakness comes from their self-pres instinct being last, so they are not as independent as the self-pres/soc. They rely on key people in their lives when doubt sets in. Their security comes from maintaining close bonds. They fear rejection much more then the soc/self-pres. This softens the strong stances seen in the soc/self-pres, because the soc/sex doesn’t find its security in organizations and government. They go through life looking for the people they think will be able to direct them. On the down side, they can make individuals into their authority figures and rely too much on them. They are a lighter Six. They go with the flow more than the other subtypes. They are likely to use humor to charm people, but on the down side may whine and complain about their circumstances to garner support. When healthier, their charm, enthusiasm and curiosity are infectious. They are very loyal friends, although that can be said more or less about all reasonably healthy Sixes. But with the self-pres/soc and the soc/sex nothing much more then your support is required, for maintaining their friendship.
 

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Not Sp-first, but the Sp 6 description is a bit over the top and almost sounds more like a 5w6 description than a type 6 one, what with seeing the outside world as a threat and retreating as a response to it. Even 6w5s are more... proactive? This part of the Sp description is more appropriate than the "hostile world" bits:

I'm a lot less worried about "everyone is OUT TO GET ME" as a threat than I am "If I don't get along with the camera operators well, we'll screw up the shoot or they won't recognize me or-". I guess that's a way of seeing danger in the world, but I never consciously think of it that way and wouldn't identify with the idea. Sp to me is the housekeeping instinct; "Do I have everything I need in order? Am I taking care of myself properly?". The DANGER sheen is unnecessarily alienating.
I relate a lot. 6ishness - when not terrifically unhealthy - is not necessarily panicked, or full of DANGER! It's a drive to get to know your environment for your own protection. It's a fundamental survival impulse. When I enter a new environment, I tend to dive right in, learning everything I can. I also tend to just be vigilant all the time - funny because as an N I'm not very observant. But I tend to know where things are at work, and I tend to remember where people leave their things, because maybe I'll need to know those things later. And I often do! It might be motivated by fear, but remember - fear developed so we would survive.

The same is true of all the enneatypes. The impulses themselves are not unhealthy! The problem is when we take them on as strategies to confront situations where they don't actually apply.
 
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